The brick

A young man who held an important position in his company, was driving his new Jaguar with enough speed, in an area that did not have such a good fame.

He was extremely careful lest any child would come out all of a sudden in front of him from the parked cars. At a certain moment, thinking that he saw something moving, slowed down. But instead of seeing any child, a brick seriously hit the side door of his Jaguar. He braked abruptly and moving back, headed for that direction from where the brick had been thrown.

Obviously annoyed, he jumped out of his car and caught a kid who was nearby. He shoved him and thrusted him with his back on a parked car then yelled at him:

”Why did you do that? And who are you? Who the hell do you think you are? This is a brand new car and the brick you threw in it damaged it seriously. Why did you do it?”

The boy, for defending himself, said:

”Please, sir, please, forgive me, but I didnt know what else to do…I threw the brick cause nobody stopped.”

With tears flowing over his cheeks, the kid showed him a place behind  a parked car.

”He is my brother. His wheelchair toppled over on the sidewalk and he fell out of it. But I cannot lift him up.”

The boy asked the young man:

”Could you help me please to put him back in his wheelchair? He is wounded and is too heavy for me to lift him up.”

The driver stood as thunder-struck…He tried to come to his senses then quickly lifted the disabled boy, installing him back in his wheelchair. Afterwards he took a paper tissue and cleaned the boy’s wounds. He realized at a glance that the wounds were superficial and would heal in no time.

”Thank you!…God bless you!” the little boy said gratefully to that stranger. The driver, distressed, looked at the kid who was pushing  his brother’s wheelchair on the sidewalk, going home.

He returned to his Jaguar after quite a while. The damage caused to the car was not at all negligible, but the young man has never taken it to the car service. He purposefully left it as it was in order to remind him the following mesage:

”Don’t live your life at such speed so that to force the other to throw you a brick for drawing your attention.

God whispers into our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes, when we don’t have time to listen to Him, He throws us a brick…

Then it’s up to us if we are willing to listen or not…

 

The light of the commandment

A famous French actress, Fanny Ardant, in a recent interview given for the Greek newspaper TRIBUNE, said the following:

”Success is something you hardly understand. But in the time of a failure you can give a logical explanation. For failure brings you back face to face with yourself. I for instance don’t like compliments. A compliment is like a perfume. You use it, it smells for a while, it satisfies you. Then you get so used to it that you don’t feel it anymore. Only the others still feel it till it evaporates and then no one feels it anymore.

But an offense, no matter how unjust it would be, is like a light that shows us in the dark how we should be or what we should do. Therefore it helps more. It’s strange. I read somewhere that a singer kept only the letters that contained offensive comments on her. And I understand why she did it. Because she wanted to be vigilant all the time.”

The saints of the Church understood these things deeper and and better from their own life experience:

Once saint John Colovic was standing near the church. The brothers surrounded him and asked him about their thoughts.

Someone saw him, envied him and told him: ”John’s jug is full of poison!” Avva John answered: ”What you say it’s quite true. And you said this cause you saw only the outside stuff. But what would you have said if you had seen what’s in my soul?”

How did saint John reach so much humility that he could get a benefit (and make even others benefit as well!) from such an envious behavior? Very simply, by accomplishing Christ’s commandment: ”But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who harm and persecute you!”1

The actress’confession has a special significance for us. Cause many times we say: ”Christ’s commandments are difficult.” And when we hear about Saint John’s spiritual accomplishments we say: ”We are no saint hermits!” But we see that a wordly woman confesses – without invoking the Holy Scripture –  Christ’s commandments that were perfectly accomplished by the saints are ”Light that shows us in the dark what we should be or what we should do.”

That’s why is worth your while a thousand times to strive, stepping in the saints’ footsteps, for achieving, as much as it’s possible for us, their spiritual peace.

Archimandrite Nikos Koutsidis

Source: agiazoni.gr

1 Matthew 5, 44

MARTIAL ARTS AND ORTHODOX FAITH (II)

Ninzitsou is another technique that was invented in the IVth century by the Chinese general Sun Tzu. The disciples of this technique were instructed to kill silently. They also teach how to control breath and use meditation in order to stay submerged in water for a long time and control their heartbeats for passing unnoticed.

          Tae Kwon Do originates in Korea with a history of many centuries. Tae means “I hit or crush with my leg”, Kwon means “I punch” and Do means “method”.

          Effects and Risks

 

          In Greece, the martial arts teachers advertise them as being harmless techniques used only for self-protection. Yet it is surely not so. The instruction in these techniques implies serious risks for health like traumatisms during practice and irreversible injuries to knees, waist and other parts of body. Mortal accidents are not a seldom fact. Such types of facts are usually assigned to inexperienced teachers and those who have nothing to do with the things they teach. Nevertheless, they do occur because this field is completely unchecked, as a Greek teacher declared: “The state will give anyone the possibility to open a school even if one was a pilot.” Thus, each teacher is given the possibility to create a myth around himself, apparently for his “titles” and “capacities” he attained while he might have very well achieved them only from videos. There were recorded cases of teachers whose diplomas were fake while the teachers who failed their “examination”, came more times even the very next day and they returned having a “black belt” or even the second and third Dan (M. Dimitriadu, The Truth about the Martial Arts, Athens 1998). Even the Greek Federation for Karate, considered as valid, is not able to control everything therefore the consequence is that these dangerous techniques are consigned to the hands of semi-professional teachers who keep them going in a speculative and exploiting circle for the naïve victims.

          Another myth created around the martial arts is the fact that you can use them for self-defence. However this argument serves only the advertising purposes. A Greek teacher admits that “it will take you around 10 years to be able to use very well those you learn. Do not listen to those who talk about rapid systems for if they said how long it would take to acquire well the knowledge, no one would show up to learn.” (M Dimitriadu, the afore cited book, p. 224). However, as a matter of course, the martial arts cannot protect you at all by shotguns. They would have been appropriate for self-defence before the guns were discovered. Nowadays, though, the easiest way for someone who has intentions to harm is to get a gun.

          However, the aforementioned risks are only referring to the physical part. There is though even a higher risk, the spiritual one, we will discuss about in what follows.

          Its religious base

 

          As we earlier mentioned, almost all the entrepreneurs of martial arts were monks or ascetics who rather learned a religious tradition than a method of war or self-defence. The training, exercises, moves and usually all their techniques involve and express this religious tradition and faith as such that it is impossible to separate each from the other. Thus, one who is initiated in the martial arts (because we can truly speak about an initiation) will be initiated in its faith as well that is totally different from Christianity.

          Which faith do we talk about? We deal with the fundamental conception of oriental religions that claims that there is no personal God (for instance there is no Father, Son and Holy Spirit of Christianity) but there is an impersonal divine energy or vital force that flows in the universe and penetrates all things. This vital universal force, called Chi in China and Ki in Japan, with different names in other parts, is everywhere, even in the contrary match of yin and yang that continuously interact. According to the adepts of oriental religions, one will control this force when he unites his mind with his body using physical moves, breathing control and meditation practice. Here is why the martial arts involve such type of exercises and techniques. Their focus is on handling this so-called energy by introducing it inside one’s self and one’s union with it. Usually, the union with the vital energy is called “enlightenment” and one who attained this stage is called “enlightened”. However, the term “Buddha”, means exactly “enlightened”, Thus, in martial arts the connection between the instructor and disciple is like one between someone who has a complete set of knowledge and someone who has not but is something more: it represents the connection between the “spiritual” father and his “spiritual” son or in other words, the connection between the “enlightened” who pursues on leading his disciples to “enlightenment”.

          But let’s study a real example: Morihei Uyesheba (1886-1969), the founder of Aikido technique, was intensely focusing on searching for “budo”, the inner essence of martial arts. During the middle of his life, he has a mystical experience: while he was sitting under a tree, the universe was shaken and out of the earth a golden spirit jumped and covered his body in veils and transformed him in gold. Then his mind and body became light and he could understand the birds and the “divine law”. Since then he had developed a technique focused on the disciple’s acknowledgement of his inner power achieved through channeling the flow of vital force Ki in different parts of his body. When the body was filled with that force, it would become strong. Uyeshiba showed often the way he controlled Ki energy: he could “root” himself on the soil such as no one could lift him up, to throw his opponents using simple moves and walk over tea cups without breaking them. The magazine edited by the “Greek Association Aikido Aikikai” that appeared in Tripoli (March 2012) informs us: “The word Aikido is composed from three Japanese words: Ai means harmony, Ki means spirit, mind or energy of universe and Do means “path”. Aikido means literally speaking “The path of harmony with the energy of universe”. We quote from the same magazine, sentences that clearly prove the concrete religious base of this technique: “The power of Aikido comes from the spiritual energy that will be released when one unifies his mind with his body and becomes one with the nature and universe.” “Aikido is not just a fighting method but a way of one’s nurture and betterment.” “Aikido is shugyo meaning an intense physical and spiritual exercise for improving one’s character and progress in real wisdom. Therefore it is obvious the meaning of a dojo as a space where we exercise in a spirit of collaboration and reciprocal help in the technique of harmony. Dojo is not just a simple place for training but for “enlightenment”.

          We have to clarify the fact that for oriental religions, the “salvation” or rather the highest grade of freedom is the dissolution of human person within the cosmic energy or vital force. The correct meaning of the aforementioned sentence is: “The person becomes one with the nature and universe.” Ki is usually adjusted in martial arts through breathing. The body moves involve special techniques of inspiration and expiration. The breath is for many times accompanied by a scream that apparently helps the release of Ki toward the opponent and thusly to unbalance him. In other cases, their screams are invocations of some deities. Although the oriental religions do not accept the existence of a personal God, they worship though as known, plenty of deities. These are deified people or deified beings, meaning beings that united on the highest scale with the vital force and attained divine characteristics.

          Martial Arts and Orthodox Faith

 

          It is proved that martial arts represent a gradual and imperceptible but sure procedure to apostate from the Christian Faith and fall into another “spiritual” category, namely of oriental religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Shintoism, etc. The pursuit on them starts usually like a game, gymnastics or field events that will eventually lead him who carries on with them to occultism and acceptance of conceptions of oriental religions. Often even the instructors of martial arts (at least in Greece) did not consciously apostatized from Christ but as long as they are under the influence of a full ignorance of the Christian faith they consider that they deal with some compatible experiences and that the Christian God identifies with the impersonal vital force of oriental religions, occultism and New Age. Yet they all end up in the same point: the renouncement to the teaching about Holy Trinity that represents the base of Christian Faith, as well as to the belief that Jesus Christ is our only true God, Savior and Redeemer, the fall from the Grace of God and eventually the fall from salvation that comes through Christ. It is this that represents the biggest danger for man: his fall from salvation.

          Many people are enthusiastic about the capacities of some who practice the martial arts, capacities that indeed, in some cases, surpass the natural human powers and therefore they leave behind a strong impression. They ask themselves: If these are not performed by the human power then what is the power they use to perform those by? Is it possible to perform them by a different power than Christ’s? Is it out of question that Christ might be involved in these cases? To give an answer to these, we go to the teaching and acts of Christ as the Gospel presents them. There we see that Christ has never taught about the self-defence, the repay of evil but about love, the forgiveness and sacrifice because “when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered He did not threaten” (I Peter 2, 23). The Gospel reveals to us also the one who acts behind the “supernatural” acts of martial arts. It boldly says: “For all the gods of the nations are demons” (Psalm 95, 5), namely the religions including those that represents the base of martial arts are not just some innocent occurrences as they might seem because behind them the devil is concealed so that he performs impressive “acts” and makes the people worship him.

          Fragment from “Orthodoxy and heresies” brochure of Holy Mitropoly of Mantinia and Kinuria, no 79, April-June 2012

 

Αντιαιρετικόν Εγκόλπιον www.egolpion.com

MARTIAL ARTS AND ORTHODOX FAITH (I)

“The Trojan Horse” of the New Age

 

          One of the phenomena that prevails in the contemporary Greek society is the increasing spread of the martial arts (Karate, Kung Fu, Judo, Aikido etc.) originating in the Eastern countries like China and Japan. Many people consider this movement harmless ignoring apparently that it represents a vehicle of initiation into a different religious tradition like the Buddhism and the oriental religions and therefore leads to the denial of the Orthodox faith. Moreover, many ignore the fact that the spread of the martial arts is part of a systematic active plan of the New Age, a well-known occult and religious movement that intends to change the Christian consciousness and in general to abolish Christian faith.

          Indeed, the propagandist advertisement of this movement invades our houses daily through TV movies and shows and offers us as well a) access to mass media through special broadcasts, b) specialized brochures and magazines; c) special dedications in newspapers and magazines of all kinds; d) direct support from the New Age press (magazines as The Third Eye, Searches, The Unexplainable, The Path, etc.) educating schools for these techniques almost in each neighborhood of the cities from our country) collaborations with different new-ageist organizations, as well as with private schools or institutions for superior education. The most concerning fact is that the teachers of martial arts impel these often through the public schools to the prejudice of Helen taxpayers together with all the implications associated with those.

          The connection with the New Age movement is relevant also from the publication of articles on a regular base by the Greek teachers of martial arts in new-ageist brochures. Their former adepts confess about the connection of their schools with occult organizations like: Harmonious life of Robert Najemi, disciple of guru Sai Baba, Gnostics, Sunlight organization of Panaghiotis Toulatou, The Church of Unification of Korean fake messiah SanMyousMoon, as well as the implication of their teachers in black arts. Organizations like Nea Akropolis, Osiris-Isis, Armoniki Zoi (Harmony Life) etc. offer lessons of martial arts while their teachers do not hesitate to make public their connections with occultism. The Athletic and Cultural Association SAGITARRIUS, accredited by the General Secretary of Athletic Sport, organizes yearly a seminary on subjects like: Hatha and Raja, Meditation, Positive Thinking etc. where the customary bibliography comprises books of the so-called “Christ of New Age”(!), of Guru Sai Baba and his disciple Robert Najemi, of Ron Hubbard, the messiah of Scientology, of New Acropolis and other new-ageist organizations.

          This proves that the martial arts are the toils of the New Age that catch “fresh” fish daily, without any loss. Moreover, all these prove that the heresies from our country act like communicating vessels and their connection are by no mean competitive. Yet, what actually are the martial arts, what is their origin and “spiritual” base?

          The Apparition and evolution of the martial arts

 

          The techniques of the weaponless war were very well known to the nations of Far East from ancient times. Over the time they were performed, multiplied and thus formed different schools. They were always connected to a religious philosophy and thereby they were part of a religious system.

          In China, the forefather of martial arts was the Kung Fu. Around year 520 AD a Buddhist monk who wandered in India, Bodhidharma or Da Mo crossed Himalaya and reached the Shaolin Monastery from China where he taught the monks from there, the techniques of war united with the Buddhist principles. The monks used those techniques at the very beginning to eradicate the thieves and pirates and later on they developed them so that their monastery became the cultivation center of the so-called “hard” Kung Fu based on strong hits and kicks. There is among them also the so-called “touch of death” (from poppy) a technique known only by a few teachers whereby if a body is hit on a certain spot, way and hour then it will slowly, inevitably die. In the same time, during the XIII century a “light” or “inner” form of Kung Fu was developed by the Taoist monk Jang Sung-Fe that does not use hits but is focused on the maximization of “inner energy” by calming down.

          Karate appeared in Okinawa island of Japan in the XVIIth century and it was officially introduced in Japan at the beginning of the XXth century. It translated through “empty hand” (weaponless) and is based on hits using the hands, legs, head and knees combined with Kung Fu techniques.

          In Japan the far forefather of martial arts is the Jiu Jitsu. It most probably appeared around the year 23 AD and became a standard during the Shogun Tokugawa (1606-1868) dynasty when the fight without weapons was emphasized and the use of swords was forbidden. The technique is related to Zen Buddhism and is characterized by hits in the vital parts of body using the legs strangles and blocks of joints.

          The evolution of Jiu Jitsu is Judo that represents a sportive version of the aforementioned technique and focuses on sprains.

          Moreover the Jiu Jitsu is the forerunner of Aikido, a contemporary technique invented in 1922 by Jiu Jitsu teacher Morihei Uyeshiba and focuses on the harmonization with the moves of the opponent. Recently, a school of this technique has appeared in Tripoli.

Document that throws in illegality the pan-Orthodox Synod: It shouldn’t have been organized since it lacked unanimity!

In the third line of the document from above, the representative of  the Patriarch John the Xth of Antioch, his eminence metropolitan Isaac wrote by hand in Greek: ”The Church of Antioch has an adverse opinion and for this reason does not sign.”

Great fuss was made about the absence of the Patriarch of Antioch at the pan Orthodox Synod.

This absence caused the absence of the Patriarch of Moscow as well, who insisted that ”even a single absence should determine the postponement of the pan Orthodox Synod.”

The Ecumenical Patriarchy insists: if all of them signed for the organization of the pan Orthodox Synod, they should have come. The doors were open for them all.

Representatives of the Patriarchy declared that all the 14 churches signed! But did they really sign all of them? Romfea.gr reveals: NO, they did not sign! The Patriarchy of Antioch expressed its reticence from the very first moment!

”We have never signed that we would participate at the synod. We asked to be solved our requests and the Ecumenical Patriarchy postponed the dialogue till after the pan Orthodox Synod, thing that we could not agree…So, as you see there has never been the unanimity his sanctity talks about!” said  the representative of the Patriarch of Antioch for Romfea.gr.

The document published by Romfea.gr clearly shows that: in January, at Geneve, Patriarch John of Antioch by means of his representative did not give his consent to participate at the pan Orthodox Synod.

This fact led to the absence of the Russians as well, just as they have warned, so that the synod has faced several absences, like that of the Orthodox Church from Georgia and the Bulgarian Patriarchy.

Sursa: acvila30.ro

The true poor man

One day the father of a very rich family took his son on a work visit on his plantations to show him how poor the people were. They spent a few days at a farm, where lived a very poor family.

After their return from that trip of a few days, the father asked his son:

”How did you enjoy the trip, my son?”

”It was wonderful, father.”

”Did you see how poor people can be?” said the father.

”Oh, yeah”, answered his son.

”Therefore what did you learn from this trip?” asked the father.

His son answered:

”I saw that we have a dog and those people have four. We have a swimming pool that extends till the middle of the garden, but they have a brook that has no end. We put small lanterns in our garden for the night, but those have the stars of the sky all night long. Our yard stretches till that of our neighbor, but theirs stretches till where your sight can reach, till the edge of the horizon.

We have a small piece of land where to live and they have endless orchards, that you cannot cover with your eyes.

We have menials who serve us, but they help other people themselves. We buy everything we eat, while they eat from their harvests. We raised a wall, for protecting our fortune and ourselves, but they have friends who defend them.

His father got speechless.

”Father, thank you for showing me how poor we are!”

How long should you pray? (II)

I don’t recommend you to pray in bed! But if it’s not possible to pray otherwise, then don’t give up on your habit. I only think that you don’t consider it yourself so appropriate to speak with the Lord, your God and lie in bed. Not to speak of what happens with many young people who… fall asleep before they finish their prayer.

Therefore, be wise and make your morning prayer after you get dressed and the evening prayer before you undress. Then when you lie in your bed, continue with pious reflections. In this way you’ll sleep more peacefully.

Do you know that wise proverb that says: ”Nothing can succeed if it’s not blessed by God?” Thus, if you don’t start your days asking for help from God, how could you expect happiness?

Look around yourself, my son! All creatures pray in their way and praise their most wise Creator. The plants open their flowers and send their life-giving fragrance to the throne of the Creator. Who else is praised by the birds with their sweet voices, if not the Almighty God?

For Him the bee is humming. For Him the butterfly is fluttering its wings rejoicingly. He is glorified by the stars with their brightness. He is the one who is praised by the thunders with their terrifying greatness. The whole creation prays fervently to Him, even though it is not aware of what it does. And you, my son, being a man with free will, would you abandon what the speechless creation accomplishes with such a zeal?

The most beautiful sight you can see in the world is the man who prays.

The one who prays lives quite in another world. He breathes abundantly the grace of God and drinks from the sweet water of the divine presence.

I told you, my son, in the previous lines, that the whole creation prays. I wanted to refer to its metaphorical meaning, for the true prayer is a privilege for man. Only he can consciously raise his soul to God and speak with Him.

Prayer is a great honor for man indeed. And this is one more element that distinguishes the man from the other creatures.

When I pray my soul fills with divine delight. Divine feelings overwhelm me. Joy, gratitude, love. I feel them all very intensely. So how could I not praise my Lord for this precious gift?

By the wings of prayer we can ascend to inconceivable heights. We can fly up to the throne of God, far away of this world with its trivialities.

Prayer is a power source for the hard daily struggle. You could say that your soul changes when you fly up above on the wings of prayer.

Therefore, come, my son! When troubles come and hit you like storms, kneel down and open your heart to your holy Father.

You will see how changed you will be after prayer! The sky will turn bright for you and the sea will calm down. That’s why you need the grace of God and this could only be gained by prayer.

How long should you pray? (I)

Once I asked a 16 y.o boy:

”Do you love God, my son?”

”I love Him very much”, he answered spontaneously.

”Do you pray to Him regularly?”

”No”, he answered candidly.

This young man could not understand the antithesis between his two answers. For it’s quite impossible for someone to love God and not pray to Him.

If you have a friend you care so much about, don’t you try to communicate with him oftenly on various topics?

Watch these numbers I tell you, my son. They are very precise. A man who died at the age of 70 divided the years of his life as follows: he had worked for 15 years, had labored for 20 years, had eaten for 2 years, he had dressed for 1 year, had washed himself for 9 months, he had shaved for 7 months, had cleaned his nose for 4 months, had brushed his teeth for 2 months and so on.

Did you notice anything? All the above mentioned things refer exclusively to exterior activities. To body cares.

But when you stand before God, the account you have to do will be quite different. Then the Righteous Judge asks you:

”How many good deeds have you done? How many misdoings?”

”How many duties have you fulfilled and how many you haven’t?”

”How long have you prayed?”

In a year your heart beat for 36.792.900 times. From this huge number how many heart beats have you offered to God?

”But how long should I pray?”

You have to know, my son, that God does not count prayer by the clock, but by the ardour, by the good disposition of your heart. A small lively, fervent prayer values more than a flabby, typiconal, barren one , even if that takes long hours.

What draws God’s attention is the zeal and the fervent disposition of the heart. Make your morning and evening prayers. But don’t forget to elevate your heart and spirit to God many a time.

 Blessed will be that day, my son, when you would dedicate your very first thoughts to God. And your sleep will be peaceful and serene when before falling in its arms, you would turn again all your thoughts towards Him.

Between the endurance of pains and spiritual peace

Priest Octavian Mosin

Good thing is to be steadfast in the true faith that makes you overcome everything by means of hope and love, no matter how many troubles, pains and afflictions would be in your life and reach that much desired spiritual peace.

Our Lord, God of love, care, mercy and of all good does not allow to be tempted beyond the measure of our powers. God helps us face all trials, but we should toil in this fight with the evil, we should not just wait for the intervention of our Father.

Here’s what we’re taught by avva Dorotheos: ”Either we get something good from someone or suffer evil from someone, we ought to look up and thank God for everything happens to us,  permanently rebuking ourselves and saying like the Holy Fathers, when a good thing happens to us that it is a proof of God’s care and if something bad happens, our sins are to blame, for indeed anything we would suffer, we suffer it for our own sins.

Patience and peace, brothers, that we would reach with the help of God, by prayer. Only prayer strengthens us and helps us overcome all hardships and pains and makes us capable to reach the world of divine peace.

And those who want to acquire patience and live a life in spiritual peace should say the following prayer: ”Oh Lord, our God, who endured persecutions, mockeries and even death on the cross for our salvation, You who said   <In your patience possess you your souls>, show me the sinner your rich mercies and give me the spirit of patience, so that my tormented soul would find its solace.

See the despair that tempts me, see the trial I am facing and help me get out of it purified of all my sins and ready to serve you in all the days of my life and glorify Your holy name, singing with all the angels and saints: Hallelujah! ”

Source: orthodox.md

The eight lies of a poor mother

Surely, nothing compares with the love a mother feels for her child. Despite all hardships, mothers always manage to put the children on the first place in their life, even if they come on the last one.

In the following story a mother had to say several lies for raising her son in the best way possible. And now that the truth was found, her story became known by everyone.

Have you ever done anything like this for your children or would you ever do it, if it were necessary? If you think that mothers deserve only respect and admiration, read the story from below and you will change your opinion…

Everything started when I was a child. My family was very poor and we never had enough food. My mother always gave me her plate of food and told me: ”Eat this rice, my son, cause I am not hungry.” This was her first lie.

While I was growing , my mother spent her free time fishing in a river. Thus, with the fish she caught, she could offer me some better food for my growth.

When I was eating, my mother sat beside me and ate just the bits left on the bones. When I offered her from my food, she said: ”Eat your food, son. I don’t like fish.” This was her second lie.

Later, in order to  give me the chance to study, she looked for a second job and found one. She recycled some old cardboard boxes and from this she earned a little more money, that covered our needs. One winter night I woke and found her still working at the light of a small candle. I told her to go and rest but she said she was not tired. This was her third lie.

On the day I had the final exams, she asked permission for a leave from her work for coming with me.

She waited for me in the heat for many hours and when I finished , she came and brought me a bottle of cold water. I saw her tired out and told her to drink it herself. But her answer was: ”I am not thirsty, my son. You drink it to cool off yourself.” This was the fourth lie of my mother.

After the death of my father, my mother had to find a way to cover all our needs. The situation of my family got worse and unfortunately she suffered all the hardships. Some neighbours told her that she should remarry and rebuild her life from the beginning. But she said: ”I am not made for such things. I am an old woman with a child and I don’t need anybody’s affection.” This was the fifth lie of my mother.

After I finished my studies and started to work, for my mother it had come the time to rest, but she didn t want it. She went every day to the market and sold some greens, for covering her expenses. I was working away and every month when I got the salary, I made a parcel with food and other goodies for her. I added an envelope with some money and send  them all to her. But very often she kept everything except for the money. With the first opportunity she sent it back to me and wrote: ”My son, I don’t need money. Thanks God, I have enough for living. Keep it yourself, cause you are young and need it more.” This was the sixth lie of my mother.

After three years of work and post graduate studies a big company came in my way. They hired me and offered me a very good salary, sponsoring my Ph D degree I had been dreaming about for a lifetime.

Then I went back and told my mother that fate smiled on us. I asked her to come with me, to stop working and finally enjoy her last days of life. But she told me: ”Leave me in my own place, my son! I am fine. Try to make yourself a better life and don’t worry about me.” This was her seventh lie. At old age she got stomach cancer. But she did not tell me anything about it. One day I decided to go and see her, without announcing her beforehand. When I entered the house I immediately realized that there was something wrong. Old and tired, my mother was lying in bed. She tried to smile, but it was obvious that she made a huge effort.

Because of the way she looked at me I burst into tears. I could not bear it anymore. Then she looked at me and said: ”My son, don’t cry and don’t be upset, cause I am fine.”

And she was clasping my hand…This was her eigth lie and in that moment she closed her eyes for ever.